For many small business owners, market research means listening to clients (both on and offline). And that’s not a bad thing. But it does present the, “am I hearing what I want to hear” problem. One way marketers try to get past this is by using multiple research methods for the same question. The good news for small business owners is, today’s social media makes this a lot easier.
Nine Rubies is a knitting shop with both an online and brick and mortar presence. They do a terrific job with all aspects of their social media, including market research, frequently using their Facebook page to poll fans about consumer preferences.
But in social media, you’re not limited to online polls and scanning Twitter for mentions of your business. Yesterday afternoon I saw the below post in my Facebook feed:
Saloni placed a similar post on Ravelry.com, the social networking site for knitters (yes, we have our very own) and attracted a small group (myself included) to the store. She will be posting her Groupon findings in her own blog, and I’ll link to that when she does. But the interesting thing about the meeting was that it was essentially a focus group — a chance for Saloni to ask us questions about using coupons for knitting, Groupon, and other coupon and social media sites.
It was such a simple way to learn more about customer behavior. And when you’re a busy small business owner, simple is beautiful.